Marty Shea - Co-creator of CollabFeature's new global web series "A Billion to One"


(Blair Hunter) #21

Thanks! Lots of people on here have told me to find my team, so definitely doing that! Do you have advice about camera angles- what to do when planning our shots so it’s not too boring but also not too “Film School”?


(Meg Carroway) #22

Haha yeah I saw the other question right after I posted whoops. But that’s so cool!! How do you keep everything organized, working with so many different people?


(Jane) #23

Dang this sounds really cool and complicated. What is the writing process like? Do you write everything yourself, do you write as a writer’s room and assign different stories to different crews?


(Collab Feature) #24

That’s a great question. On our first two films (25 filmmakers and 40 filmmakers) we had some big delays waiting for a couple filmmakers. Now, with the series, we are able to move storylines around, so in the first episodes you’re seeing those filmmakers who delivered first. Everyone is doing this as a “side project” so we have to be super flexible. Deadlines, release dates etc are all decided collaboratively/democratically.

Everything is organized on our log in platform and several of the filmmakers are captains that help keep things organized and in motion. It can get crazy at times! But we have an amazing team of filmmakers who our truly on board with collaborating


(Collab Feature) #25

CollabFeature has made two features and will make more. One advantage of a series is that you can build up momentum over time with new episodes being released every week. It also allows flexibility with the many filmmakers (we’re not always waiting on the last one to deliver)


(Ollie R) #26

What happens if someone doesn’t send in their scene? Or is the story so interchangeable you can just add a totally different scene into an episode?


(sam lockie-waring) #27

cool cool. where’d you guys come up with the idea? was that you, and then you gave the logline to collaborators, or what?


(Collab Feature) #28

I went from intern to PA to assistant coordinator, coordinator, production manager, assistant director then producer. But along the way, I was producing my own little shoots. I would always balance doing paid work/bigger credits but also take free work to get more experience… and it paid off.

What do you mean by “the boring stuff”… Like scheduling? Dealing with insurance?

My advice is to get out there and get a range of experience, don’t burn bridges, be positive, work really hard and treat each job like your career depends on it! When starting out, it’s good to have a flexible day job that lets you take last minute freelance work


(Collab Feature) #29

We post calls for filmmakers on film sites and social media. They apply and then the filmmakers decide/vote on who to work with for each project.


(Jaime Lancaster) #30

Cool! Boring stuff I mean like paperwork and scheduling mostly- the stuff that isn’t hiring and casting and coordinating departments and all the fun management-y stuff that brings the thing together. Also marketing… any tips on that?


(Meg Carroway) #31

Which filmmakers decide/vote? The people in your company, or is it like a growing list so every new filmmaker brought on board gets to vote on the next ones and so on? And what is the application process like?


(Amen J.) #32

Ok, I just LOVE this idea; I was thinking of something similar once of a coop production company in my city, where everyone takes on a role that they are most excited about…but I think this is even better. Any thoughts on going into the documentary realm, vis-a-vis your collaborative model?


(Collab Feature) #33

Watch and study movies that you love. Pause and go frame by frame and figure out why you like different shots, why they work… sometimes its not just about the angles, but the lighting, the production design, wardrobe, acting, editing… and even sound— bad sound can ruin a nice shot like nothing else.

Find a director of photography whose work you like but also that respects you as a director (biggest problem with some DP’s is that they want to control everything. you have to find someone that you can work with)


(Bri Castellini) #34

Speaking of producer tips… do you have any tips specifically about long distance producing? Helping aid a production in that capacity without physically having your boots on the ground where the production is taking place?


(Jaime Lancaster) #35

I was gonna ask this too! Thanks Bri! Reading my mind!


(Collab Feature) #36

All collaborators are involved in the writing process. We usually start with a premise, brainstorm ideas, agree on an outline and then the filmmaker and writer might team up and start writing scripts, put them up for feedback from the group and go from there.


(Jane) #37

How long did it take to make? And do you agree on an overall season outline first, or just individual episodes/scenes?


(Collab Feature) #38

We try to keep each storyline flexible enough to allow for the inevitable fact that some filmmakers might not be able to come through. With the new web series, it’s very very flexible because we’re jumping from one storyline to another, in one country to another. They are all building to a big climax but are not so intertwined that a drop out would ruin the story.


(Collab Feature) #39

Even coming up with the premise is a collaborative process. One of the filmmakers came up with an idea about a million looking for an heir that evolved into A Billion to One — we and the group agreed to make that the next project and we ran with it!


(Collab Feature) #40

I always try to find assistants who love the boring stuff! Believe it or not, they exist!

I’m pretty new to marketing but what I’ve found is the best advice on marketing; Figure out your audience before you start making your project. Start marketing from the very beginning. That doesn’t mean make content to try to please an audience, you still have to love what you’re doling. You are the first member of your audience but not the only one.